Tag: mobile security

Geolocation technology may keep U.S. Bank Visa cardholders more secure

This new opt-in feature is designed to boost security while decreasing the number of card declines.

U.S. Bank announced the adoption of geolocation technology to help improve the security of payment transactions for travelers. The idea is that a shopper can use his or her mobile phone to confirm his or her identity when using a credit card.

If a credit card purchase is made at a different location from that of the mobile device, it will be declined.

The concept of this use of geolocation technology is to stop transaction declines from happening unnecessarily. Instead, a traveler’s identity will be further confirmed by the presence of his or her mobile phone in the same location as the transaction. In this way, it stops a person who has stolen the card from being able to successfully complete a transaction. After all, if they grab the card – or card info – and run, they will be too far away from the actual cardholder to use it.

This avoids the dreaded auto-decline message some travelers get when they try to make a purchase that is out of sync with their typical buying patterns. That said, it’s important to note that this geolocation service is opt-in. It is not being automatically implemented for all U.S. Bank issued Visa cards.

Furthermore, this geolocation technology service is activated only by cardholders who are traveling.

Geolocation Technology - Visa Bank CardPurchases made closer to home will not qualify for this additional mobile security component for credit card transactions. The fraud prevention program is being released in waves.

According to U.S. Bank’s Retail Payment Solutions division senior vice president and head of product and marketing, Clifford Cook, “We’ve all experienced that embarrassing moment when your credit card is declined at dinner while on vacation because the bank thinks you should be at home in Minneapolis, but you’re eating dinner in Seattle.” Cook explained that “When your phone is on and you’ve opted-in for geolocation, U.S. Bank can validate that the expense is legitimate and avoid customer frustration.”

To start, U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa cardholders will be able to opt into the geolocation technology program when they travel. All they need to do is activate the feature using the FlexPerks mobile app.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds us to keep our data safe

Local, state and federal agencies are using October to educate businesses, organizations and individuals.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the United States. Agencies at a federal, state and local level use this time to provide education about safe internet use. It is applicable to everyone from individuals to companies, organizations, charities, schools, universities and anyone else who connects to the internet.

This is a concern that is familiar to computer users but mobile security remains a low priority for many.

Despite the fact that many people are aware that their mobile devices can be hacked, the most basic steps are often ignored. A large portion of the population still has not taken the most primary steps to protect their mobile devices. For example, many people have not created a password to lock their devices. Moreover, those who have a mobile antivirus app installed remain in the minority. Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to help improve this situation.

There are many threats that Mobile Security Awareness Month is hoping people will begin to recognize.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month - Mobile SecurityAmong the threats faced by mobile device users include: identity theft, viruses, phishing attempts, and online harassment. October is a good time for people to think about these concerns and take action to protect themselves against them.

Many of these efforts are exceptionally easy to implement and use. For instance:

• Parents can speak with their children about staying safe when using a mobile phone or tablet.
• Computers, smartphones and tablets should have antivirus and firewall software installed and activated.
• The added security features built right into the majority of smeartphones should be activated and used.
• Apps should be kept up to date for the most secure versions.
• Pay attention to suspicious ads, activities and behaviors and avoid opening or clicking on any of them.
• Back up files regularly and keep passwords strong – alternately use a secure password manager.

Cyber Security Awareness Month isn’t designed to frighten people. Only to educate them so they can keep their data safe. By taking these steps now, they will soon become second nature.